|Gabriel at the Annunciation (da Vinci)|
All angels are messengers. The Hebrew word for angel "mal'akh" (מַלְאָךְ) means messenger, in fact, and so applies to every angel known. The archangel Gabriel, however, has come to be particularly associated with this activity in the popular literature.
Why is this the case?
Gabriel first appears in the Hebrew bible as a translator of visions (Daniel 8:160. If the dream was intended as message, Gabriel's clarifies that message by interpreting the dream.
In the book of Enoch, Gabriel is an avenger - a role he plays in Daniel as well. Violence does I suppose deliver a message though not the sort we like to associate with angels. Still, I don't find it impossible to imagine angels in the capacity of warriors for a cause.
In the Talmud, it is Gabriel who delivers a message to Queen Vashti urging her to disobey her King - thereby paving the way for Esther and the salvation of the Jews of the day.
In Christian and Islamic writings Gabriel's role as a messenger is emphasized - both as the angel of the annunciation and as the deliverer of the Koran.
Whether we accept such texts or not, it does seem fair to assume that Gabriel was well known as a messenger to these early writers or he would not have been cast as such. This idea of Gabriel as a messenger, then, isn't new and, if it was invented, it was invented long ago.
As a messenger among messengers, it seems fitting that Gabriel might provide guidance and support to a wide array of earthly messengers - including writers, singers, and anyone involved with any sort of media. As I believe he does.
|Archangel Gabriel by Sheila Diemert|